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Wednesday, June 15, 2016
June 15, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:18 PM :: 2984 Views

Djou: HART Grab for City Loan Highlights Caldwell’s Untrustworthiness

Cayetano, Heen, Kobayashi to Endorse Djou for Mayor

Orlando Shooter: Why a Gay Muslim Becomes Jihadi

Ninth Circuit not Fooled by Hilo Marijuana Minister

The Jones Act: Protecting Special Interests, Not America

Ige to Sign Six Bills

BoE: Ige Appoints Uemura, Reappoints DeLima

The Value of Neighborhood Boards

Rep Kaniela Ing—Among Worst Attendance in State House

MN: …Ing’s challenger Tegarden has been endorsed by the Political Action Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, the Laborers' International Union of North America, the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, and the Hawaii Operating Engineer's Local 3.

"These unions and organizations, who have made a clear choice by endorsing my leadership, represent thousands of workers on Maui," she said. "With one of the lowest attendance records in the state Legislature and one of the highest users of interim per diem spending, along with being the only Neighbor Island committee chair not to pass any legislation these past two years, I am not surprised my opponent is lacking in endorsements."

Attendance records available on the state Legislature's website (www.capitol.hawaii.gov/houseattendance/) show that Ing was at least late for session roll call on 16 of 60 session days and absent for nine of those 16 days in 2015. And, records show Ing was late for roll call on 11 session days and absent for four of those days in 2016. Ing is one of only a few House lawmakers whose missed roll-call figures rose into double digits in 2015 and 2016….

read … Mark Ing Many Failures

Court papers allege principal tried to cover up Dozens of Incidents of Child Molestation at DoE School for 10 Years

HNN: …For nearly a decade, Sydney Dickerson was the principal for the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. It was under her watch that dozens of students were robbed, raped and even gang raped by other students

State taxpayers wound up paying $5.75 million to settle lawsuits linked to the violence, and five students were convicted as minors on sex assault charges.

Now, new court records obtained by Hawaii News Now show that school staffers and contractors had asked Dickerson at least half a dozen times since 2006 to investigate sex assault allegations.

They alleged that Dickerson either didn't look into them or didn't report the allegations to law enforcement.

"Frankly, we're at a point where there ought to be criminal investigations because they're covering up misconduct and they're doing it deliberately for their own purposes," said attorney Eric Seitz, who represented several victims who sued in 2011.

The newly-released court records include statements from more than a dozen staffers and contractors interviewed by private investigator Matt Levi, who was hired by the Department of Education to investigate the allegations.

One of the staffers told Levi that she witnessed a male student forcing a girl to perform oral sex on the stairs of Building C on school grounds….  (HNN was very careful to avoid mention of homosexual rape in this story.)

Nomiyama also said he only became aware of how widespread the problem was when Honolulu police detectives contacted him in July 2011, after a student was arrested for sexually assaulting another classmate on a school bus.

"The detectives told me that their investigation indicated that these assaults had gone on for years," Nomiyama said, in the documents. "They went on to describe how they believed the suspect was the ringleader of a group of HSDB student sexual predators. They estimated there were five suspects responsible for sexual assaults involving possibly 35 victims."

Hawaii News Now had initially requested copies of Levi's report back in 2013, but DOE officials withheld them on the grounds their release would warrant an invasion of privacy, are part of pending litigation and would frustrate a government function.

But the records were made public in a separate lawsuit in which a former Deaf and Blind School student alleged she was also sexually assaulted at McKinley High School. Her attorneys, Eric Ferrer and Susan Dorsey, have alleged that there's a widespread practice within the DOE of not reporting sex assault cases….

read … Child Molestation

HART Suddenly Claims it is Out of Money, Must Borrow From City Beginning Next Month

KHON:  …The HART board is considering a request to allow for short-term borrowing much sooner than expected.

It’s a move HART once dismissed as unlikely, unless there was a major disaster. But last year, the city and HART agreed borrowing would be part of the financial plan for rail.

Always Investigating was the first to reveal that the federal government is holding off on more than half-a billion in payments to HART.

HART is now telling its board it will essentially run out of cash next month.

It’s asking to borrow short-term on the city’s credit — something it got open-ended approval to do years ago on the promise borrowing would be unlikely and infrequent.

In 2012, the rail authority received the green light to use the city’s equivalent of a line of credit (a.k.a. commercial paper) for hundreds of millions of dollars. HART said at the time that it was needed to keep the federal government happy in financial plan documents.

Though it evolved into being an expected part of interim rail financing in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year, HART told the council as recently as May that borrowing would be unlikely until summer 2017.

HART had originally told the council back in 2012 it would only be drawn in case of disaster, war, terrorism, strikes, or economic jolts.

“Even (former Honolulu mayor Peter) Carlisle, when he was mayor, said they wouldn’t need that money until the moon falls into the ocean,” said Honolulu City Council budget chair Ann Kobayashi….

As Explained: Will Feds Withhold a Third Year of Financing Before HART Gets Around to Writing Financial Plan?

read … Credit Draw

Dimwitted HART Finally Begins considering public-private partnerships to offset costs of rail

HNN: …"It's going to cost more. It’s going to encounter more problems and we need to prepare for that," he said. “There are other rail systems that work with the private sector to give them air rights over the stations to develop it, and that brings in more money."

In other words, developers would help offset the cost of building rail stations in exchange for the rights to build above the facilities.

Developer Stanford Carr called it a win-win proposition.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation "doesn't have to buy as much land as they thought they would, by allowing us to encapsulate the transit station and integrate it within our project," he said.

Carr also said if such a partnership were to happen, the developer's engineers and architects would work collaboratively with HART to create mixed-use structures that would include the rail station, residential and commercial spaces….

KHON: Dillingham businesses brace for impact as HART attempts to ease construction pains

read …  Should’ve done this years ago

Proposal to do away with neighborhood boards is rejected

SA: The Honolulu Charter Commission voted to not advance a proposal that would have asked Oahu voters to consider scrapping neighborhood boards and redirecting a portion of funding to other efforts aiming to increase civic participation.

The commission’s vote against the measure, cast last week, means that the proposed Charter amendment will not be included on the November general election ballot. Commission members received hundreds of written comments on the matter and heard testimony from dozens of residents at a meeting Thursday.

Commission Vice Chairman Kevin Mulligan, who presided over the meeting and voted against the proposal, said the majority of those who submitted comments and testified for about three hours opposed eliminating neighborhood boards.

“The opposition was very clear. We’re not going to advance a proposal where there’s that significant opposition from neighborhood board members and the public,” Mulligan said.

read … Victory!

GEMS: Rate Payers Pay $21.5M for Nothing

SA: GEMS — the financing program designed to help low-income residents take advantage of renewable energy technology — has been woefully ineffective.

When the program launched in 2013, the goal was to fully deploy the $150 million by November 2016, but so far, less than 1 percent has been loaned to consumers.

Meanwhile, thanks to a monthly surcharge on energy bills, ratepayers will have paid about $21.5 million as of June 30 for GEMS; an additional $6.4 million will be paid from July through year’s end.

The intent of GEMS was worthy: Provide low-interest loans to qualifying consumers and nonprofits for rooftop solar systems.

The program was set up using proceeds from selling $150 million in state bonds to investors.

But market conditions have drastically changed and GEMS, much like other government programs, has been slow to adapt….

Related: HECO Customers Keep Paying On Unused $144 Million GEMS Fund

read … Government GEMS

As MMMC waits, it deals with staff shortages

MN: For now, Maui Memorial Medical Center and its staff continue to cover shortages and to deal with uncertainties created by a federal appeals court injunction halting the operational transition of the public hospital to the private Kaiser Permanente, but the hospital's CEO warned that those efforts cannot be sustained for long and "will fall apart."

Wesley Lo, CEO of the quasi-public Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region that oversees the Wailuku hospital and Kula and Lanai Community hospitals, said Tuesday that staffs at all the facilities have "stepped up" to deal with vacancies and other transition-related issues, but eventually there will be "a point of no return."

"You cannot sustain it. They are going to leave," he said of health care workers and doctors who are putting in extra hours and are under emotional stress with the change on hold….

Currently, there are 367 vacancies out a total staff of nearly 2,000 countywide, Lo said. There are 312 vacancies at Maui Memorial or about 12 percent of the 1,667 total workforce; Kula Hospital is short 40 workers out of 226; and Lanai has 15 vacancies out of 62 positions.

There are always vacancies at the hospitals but the transition has created new challenges and larger vacancy numbers, Lo said. Some workers have left the hospitals for other employment in anticipation of the change; others have retired, he said.

As for doctors, Lo said there was a shortage even prior to the transition in specialties such as orthopedics. There will be shortages in medical oncology and neurosurgery after July 1 when doctors depart.

As the hospital has done in the past, some patients will be flown to Oahu for treatment….

the Maui Region has hired 128 temporary/traveling agency workers, mainly nurses, to fill the gaps - 119 at Maui Memorial, seven in Kula and two on Lanai, Lo said.

Compounding the vacancies are higher than average sick leave calls, said Lo. Public workers will lose remaining sick leave if the transition to the private Kaiser occurs.

About 50 workers are on some type of leave every day, with the majority on sick leave. Others have taken vacation or family leave, Lo said.

If and when the injunction is lifted, HHSC and Kaiser officials have said it will take about eight weeks from that point to complete the transition.

The hospitals will be able to make it through financially to the end of September, though Lo noted that they typically budget $3 million in operational losses each month….

Flashback: Judges Lobby to Pause Hospital Privatization

read … Thanks 9th Circuit and UPW

UPW Trash: How Battles Over Privatization Played Out in Hawaii’s Courts

W360: Nearly 20 years ago, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that an agreement between the County of Hawaii and a private contractor for the operation of a county landfill violated civil service laws and merit principles. Adopting the "nature of the services" test, the court held that the civil service, as defined by state law, encompasses those services that have been "customarily and historically" provided by civil servants. Konno v. Countv of Hawaii, 85 Hawaii 61, 937 P.2d 397 (1997)….

read … Waste 360

Thanks to Obama and ACLU, Rotting Garbage Piles up at Homeless Camp

HNN: …Beneath the Airport Viaduct are countless piles of rotting garbage.

"Sometimes when you're down there, it smells like something's dead," said Justin Phillips, Institute for Human Services outreach team manager.

And the mess is spreading.

The DOT used to come out to the Nimitz viaduct every six months to clean up trash, much of which is left behind by homeless living in the area. But last year, the state put those efforts on hold, and a clean-up hasn't been done in nine months.

On Tuesday, Hawaii News Now spotted trash all over, including bags full of trash half submerged in the marsh.

"We don't know if there's hypodermic needles in there, human waste," Philips said. "Things like that are being pushed out into the water."

State Department of Transportation officials said the last time crews picked up trash in the area was September 2015.

The clean-ups were put on hold when the state modified its approach to addressing homelessness in response to potential legal challenges (thanks, ACLU) and concerns about loss of federal funding (thanks, Obama)….

It's estimated 300 homeless people live in and around the viaduct. With more moving in, conditions are getting worse.

The state has not set a date for its next clean-up effort.  (How about January 20, 2017?)

CB: Hawaii’s New Ice Age: Meth And Regaining Motherhood

read … Thanks to Obama and the ACLU

Hawaii Commercial Fishery Will Be Gone

UCN: …Council members from Hawaii also expressed concerns about the future of fisheries in their islands and the lack of local resident control, particularly in regards to the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (MNM) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

The proposal would increase the monument fivefold from 140,000 square miles to 625,325 square miles. From a fisherman's perspective, it could reduce the available fishing grounds in the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters around Hawaii from 63% to 15%.

At a recent meeting with the White House's council on environmental quality (CEQ), the WPRFMC was told that there is a vast distinction between preservation under the Antiquities Act, which allows the US President to proclaim a national monument, and conservation and management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA).

"What this looks like is the beginning of the dismantling of MSA," predicted council vice chair McGrew Rice, of Hawaii. "What we will have in Hawaii is protected species. Our commercial fishery will be gone."

"Truth is these monuments have nothing to do with conservation," said council vice chair John Gourley from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

"It is mainland politics that one person before he leaves office can designate these at no cost, with no National Environmental Policy Act and no Congressional oversight, to pay off the environmentalists for their legacy."….

read … Guam tuna meeting voices concerns over sustaining traditional fishing

Appeals court hearing arguments regarding GMO bans Today

MN: Three county laws in Hawaii restricting the cultivation of genetically modified crops that were invalidated by a federal judge are set to go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The federal appeals court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the cases Wednesday from attorneys representing Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties.

"All three counties' cases are being argued back to back to back," said Honolulu attorney Paul Alston, who represents biotechnology concerns. "It should be a pretty intense morning for the court and for the public."

The judges who oversaw the federal district court cases had invalidated the county bans on genetically modified organisms and ruled that state law pre-empts county law on the issue. Hawaii and Kauai counties had their anti-GMO laws struck down in 2014, while Maui's ban was thrown out in 2015….

HuffPo: Some Anti-GMO Agit-prop to influence the weak-minded antis

read … Doomed Appeal by Anti-GMO Losers

Anti-GMO Activists: Hate, Frenzy, and Fear

KE: No movement in Hawaii has ever employed the same abhorrent tactics as used by the anti-GM crowd — the hateful memes and social media attacks, ostracizing and shaming farm workers, frenzied fear-mongering and a deliberate disinformation campaign.

These no class, no aloha tactics, especially the mistreatment of conscientious and dedicated ag workers, turned me against the movement even before I documented the lies and dirty funding. Sadly, these same deceptive, fear-based tactics are being used throughout the world.

I continue to “obsess” over the movement, and Hooser's role in it, because it's causing great harm to our community and viable Island agriculture, with global ramifications. And worse, it's doing so wrongly and needlessly.

There is no danger from eating or growing GM crops. Organic agriculture is not superior. There is no indication that pesticides from the seed fields are migrating off-site in anything but negligible amounts, much less causing the kind of harm that antis continue to claim, even in the wake of disproving documentation provided by a Joint Fact-Finding report that favored their cause.

It's all a bunch of shibai. It's made up by those who stand to benefit politically and economically from pushing this particular agenda — namely, the organics industry, Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, HAPA, Hawaii SEED, SHAKA, Babes Against Biotech, GMO-Free and the high-end Realtors who will gentrify and sell Hawaii land once ag is destroyed. They make it up for the ignorant sheeple to promulgate.

As I have repeatedly documented, these groups have used fear-mongering to create a cottage industry that feeds their bank accounts, egos and political aspirations. They have a vested economic interest in keeping the conflict alive.

read … Musings: Why, Oh Why?

Haole Lifestyle ‘Academy’ Behind Anti-GMO Legislative Candidates

SA: Anti-GMO group 'HAPA' has launched a leadership program, called the Kuleana Academy, that trains participants in running political campaigns....

LIST OF ANTI-GMO CANDIDATES:

  • Fern Rosentiel HD14 Kauai,
  • Alex Haller HD13 Hana-Lanai-Molokai,
  • Tiare Lawrence HD12 Maui,
  • Patrick Shea HD48 Kaneohe,
  • Jonathan Wong HD3 Hilo,
  • Ikaika Hussey HD28,
  • Mr Kim Coco Iwamoto SD13

… some see the GMO issue, in particular, as posing a challenge for the progressive movement, which seeks to include working-class people. The seed companies employ about 1,400 people in the islands, and workers have expressed fears that the protests and greater regulation could mean the loss of jobs.

“The challenge for progressive movements is to draw in working people and their unions, to the extent possible, to support a unifying economic justice agenda, rather than be split on issues like food justice, which tends to divide rather than unify,” said Bart Dame, a local representative for the Sanders campaign and a board member of the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii.

He said that the progressive movement also needs to work to be more multicultural and multiethnic. “In recent years, clearly there is a Hawaiian sovereignty component, but increasingly the progressive label has been applied to more of a haole cultural lifestyle,” he said ….

read …. About a bunch of losers who are dragging progressivism down

After 22 Years of Failure, Hawaii County to Lease Ag Park to Someone Who Will Lease it to Ranchers

HTH: The county is poised to lease 440 acres of improved grazing land for $1 a year to the Hamakua County Farm Bureau.

The farm bureau plans to develop a joint cattle grazing entity that will benefit ranchers around the island, especially those beset by drought. The Kapulena area between Honokaa and Waipio Valley, where the property is located, gets about 80 inches of rainfall annually….

The county received more than 4,400 acres of former sugarcane lands in 1994 in lieu of back taxes from the bankrupt Hamakua Sugar Co. Most of the land has lain fallow since.

Resolution 533 would allow the nonprofit farm bureau a 10-year lease at $1 a year, with an option to renew another 10 years “without notice or appraisal.” It is scheduled to be voted on today, when the County Council meets at 9 a.m. at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

In 2011, the Council resisted a move by Mayor Billy Kenoi to sell some of the county’s extensive holdings as a way to balance the budget….

read … Grazing land lease up for consideration

Hawaii could soon create database listing gun permit applicants

KHON: …other states have requirements that are much more lenient.

“Vermont, for instance, you don’t need anything to get a gun. You don’t need anything to carry a gun. It’s called constitutional carry,” said Harvey Gerwig with the Hawaii Rifle Association.

Some lawmakers and local law enforcement are trying to create new gun laws. This past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that is now waiting for the governor’s signature.

“It forces everyone applying for a firearms permit to be placed on a federal firearms database, and this has never been used anywhere in the country for firearms,” Gerwig said….

SA: Killers-look-for-unarmed-public

read … Hawaii could soon create database listing gun permit applicants

DPS Still ‘Investigating’ Prison Guard who Allegedly Murdered Mother

SA: …Pereira was found sitting in the garage next to a gun safe and “appeared to be crying and distraught and asking for his daughter,” the police affidavit said. The suspect also said he was sorry.

The responding officer told the suspect to lower the AR-15 assault rifle he was carrying and that he would help him talk to his daughter and wife, according to the affidavit. As additional officers arrived at the Maili home, the suspect suddenly appeared to be gasping for air and “started spitting up and foaming at the mouth, then he began to lie back in the corner and appeared to have convulsions,” the affidavit said.

Arresting officers took the rifle from the suspect and moved him to where he could get medical attention.

Besides the AR-15 assault rifle, police found a Glock model 17 automatic pistol and a Smith &Wesson Model 66 .357-caliber pistol on the table next to the victim.

The Department of Public Safety said Pereira was hired in August 2002. However, Pereira has not reported to work since April 10 and was placed on unpaid leave for not showing up, the department said Monday.

The department is conducting an internal administrative investigation….

read … Prison Guard on Meth

2015: Bill Clinton Talks Donald Trump into Running for President in order to Provide Hillary with Beatable Opponent

NYDN: Just weeks before Donald Trump launched his presidential bid, Bill Clinton called him and spoke with him at length to give him political advice. The Washington Post reported, "Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump's efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape. Clinton's personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May (2015)."

MW: The Days When GOP Helped Govern (pg 8)

read … Because Trump was the only one Hillary Could Beat

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